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Chicago in Cook County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Standard Time System in the United States

Adopted on this Site – October 11, 1883

 
 
The Standard Time System in the United States Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 29, 2011
1. The Standard Time System in the United States Marker
Inscription. Chicagoís famous Grand Pacific Hotel, then on the site of the present Continental Bank building, was the location of the General Time Convention of 1883 which, on October 11 of that year, adopted the current Standard Time System in the United States.

The Convention was called by the nationís railroads. Delegates were asked to develop a better and more uniform time system to govern railroad operations. Previously, time had been determined by the position of the sun, with high noon as the only existing standard of exact local time. More than 100 different local times resulted from this method.

The new plan, proposed by William F. Allen, Convention Secretary, established four equal time zones across the country, each one hour ahead of the zone to its west. All railroad clocks in each zone were to be synchronized to strike the hour simultaneously.

The Standard Time System was inaugurated on November 18, 1883. On that Sunday, known as the “Day of Two Noons,” the Allegheny Observatory at the University of Pittsburgh transmitted a telegraph signal when it was exactly noon on the 90th meridian. Railroad clocks throughout the United States were then reset on the hour according to time zone.

Although implemented by the railroads, the Federal Government, states, and cities began to use the
The Standard Time System in the United States Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 29, 2011
2. The Standard Time System in the United States Marker
system almost immediately. On March 19, 1918, Congress formally acknowledged the plan by passing the Standard Time Act.

This Plaque Presented to
Continental Bank
By
The Midwest Railway Historical Society, Inc.
November 18, 1971

 
Erected 1971 by The Midwest Railway Historical Society, Inc.
 
Location. 41° 52.704′ N, 87° 37.916′ W. Marker is in Chicago, Illinois, in Cook County. Marker is at the intersection of West Jackson Boulevard and South LaSalle Street, on the left when traveling east on West Jackson Boulevard. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 140 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago IL 60604, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Chicago Board of Trade's Statues (within shouting distance of this marker); Rookery Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Continental and Commercial Bank Building (about 300 feet away); Dearborn Street (approx. 0.2 miles away); State Street (approx. 0.2 miles away); Harold Washington (approx. ľ mile away); Palmer House Hotel (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Donohue Building (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chicago.
 
Additional keywords. standard time
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 1,108 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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